Each week the New Zealand Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking The Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's working out what all the fuss is about bitcoin, and whether you should be getting involved. Hosted by Frances Cook.

Bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrency - whatever you want to call it, new digital currencies are making waves, enough for the average person to sit up and wonder whether they should be jumping on the bandwagon.

At the end of each episode of Cooking the Books, I always invite people to send me their questions on things they want to know more about.

To my surprise, questions about bitcoin have been one of the biggest requests. People want to know more about whether it's safe, how they can try it, and what it even is.


Yet for all of this public interest, the Government and banks are holding cryptocurrencies at arm's length.

We're a country that usually loves to combine technology and money, even at the relatively simple level of how fast and enthusiastically we all started using Eftpos.

Yet if you want to dabble in cryptocurrencies here, you face a bit of a wild west. There's even the possibility of the bank shutting down your account and accusing you of being linked to illegal activities.

I called up Auckland University's Head of Department of Commercial Law, Associate Professor Alex Sims, to find out if there was a good reason why some were dragging their feet.

We talked about how these new currencies actually work, why they've caused all this controversy, and what the potential is for them to change the way we live our lives.

For the interview, listen to the podcast.

If you have a question about this podcast, or something you want me to look into for a future episode, come and talk to me about it. I'm on Facebook here, and Twitter here.

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